Child participation in the ChiLLS project

The ChiLLS project aimed to increase protection and support for highly vulnerable children in need of legal and linguistic assistance. Hintalovon and its project partners, KU Leuven and University of Bologna were committed to endorse children’s right to be heard and benefit from the added value that children can bring to the project.

Hence, children were involved in the project at consultation, collaboration and child-led level.

  • Child Rights Ambassadors participated in the Steering Committee meeting in Belgium, in May 2019. They took part in an international, and interdisciplinary discussion about children’s need in the justice system.
  • Highly vulnerable children were interviewed in two countries, 8 in Belgium and 15 in Italy, in Autumn 2019. The experience of highly vulnerable children helped project partners better understand children’s perspectives and fed into the resources that were developed for legal professionals.
  • 8 children participated in the consultations about the content and design of the newly developed child-friendly materials in Hungary, in Spring 2020.
  • 4 Child Rights Ambassadors spoke during the ChiLLS final conference and shared their awareness raising video in Summer and Autumn 2020. 

It became clear that children had a real added value both in researching children’s needs, giving them easy-to-understand, relevant information, assessing that information, and in representing their peers. Giving them a chance to contribute to advocacy and research projects at various levels – consultation, collaboration to child-led – benefitted the project outcomes, taught professionals how to address, communicate or work with children better, and empowered children at the same time. The project underlined that not just interdisciplinary but intergenerational teamwork is a great asset.

How did children enrol and participate in the project?

What are the lessons learnt from developing and testing child-friendly materials? How did children get involved in representation and developing an awareness-raising campaign?

Learn more about the methodological background of child participation here and watch the presentation of Barbara Németh in the final conference about the development of child-friendly materials here.

The ChiLLS project was funded by the DG Justice of the European Union Commission (JUST-JACC-AG-2017).

Picture from here.